Hard Hat Award (Game #11, vs. Bengals)
Stillers DE Aaron Smith is the winner of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.
Smitter was an absolute beast in the win over the Bungals, almost single-handedly dominating the Bengals from his DE spot in the 3-4 defense, which is incredibly rare in the NFL. He continually blew up running plays while applying pressure on passing plays as well. He also had 3 batted passes. On a 2-play sequence in the 2Q, Smith batted a pass, then blew up a screen pass with outstanding reading and hustling. I�ve watched Smitty for years now, and he is playing at a very, very high standard of play.
Other player receiving consideration from The Committee were LB James Farrior, who had 2 short-yardage stops; PK Jeff Reed, who nailed 2 difficult FGs amidst a snow squall in bitter cold weather; and FB Carey Davis, who was finally allowed to play FB and responded with some key, rugged blocks and a key plunge. It bears repeating that there is almost always -- if not always -- a strong correlation between the number of players in consideration for the Hard Hat, and if the team won or lost. Simply put, Hard Hat kind of football leads to victory; pansy football (a term used here long before Troy Pola popularized it) leads to defeat.
Kudos to Smith for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, Aaron!
Previous 2008 Hard Hat Winners:
Week 1, vs.
Week 2, @ Clev: Keyaron Fox and Jamie Harrison
Week 3, @ Phil:
Week 4, vs. Balt: Jamie Harrison and LeMarr Woodley
Week 5, @ Jax: Ben Roethlisberger
Week 6, @ Cinci: Mewelde Moore
Week 7, vs. NY Giants: Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel
Week 8, @ Skins: Byron Leftwich and Jared Retkofsky
Week 9, vs. Colts: Jamie Harrison
Week 10, vs. Chargers: Jamie Harrison and Gary Russell